Fear and Yoga in New Jersey is a fun, humorous read saddled with a lousy title. The novel focuses on Nina and her seemingly normal, suburban New Jersey family. However, nothing is routine for Nina, a yoga teacher (ok, so this is where the ‘yoga’ in the title comes from) whose stressful life causes her to imitate the Walking Dog and other yoga poses intended for relaxation.
Her home life is rife with strife, ranging from the outsourcing of her husband’s job as the meteorologist at the Newark Airport to her thirteen-year-old son’s sudden interest in becoming a bar mitzvah. Is it Jewish spirituality or the desire for a financial payday that entices young Adam to seek out the local Chabad rabbi for religious guidance? The fact that Nina turned her back on Judaism years before has muddled the family’s religious stand. However, Adam’s not sure he’s buying what his mom is selling religiously.
Confounding matters are Nina’s aged parents. They decide to evacuate Florida due to an impending hurricane and can’t understand why their meteorologist son-in-law doesn’t call every moment with a storm update. How they eventually arrive at Nina’s house, located all the way up the East Coast, is humorous and completely plausible because
Galant perfectly captures the tzures rained down upon the masses by elderly, stereotypical Jews whose behaviors are laughable and nerve-wracking, yet endearing. Galant has crafted a quick read I did not want to put down. There’s nothing complicated about this book or its plot, but Galant’s story is so delicious you’ll probably want to bite into it and eat the whole thing in one sitting. Don’t worry…there’s nothing to fear in this novel, despite the title.